The front of the CAHS building

CAHS: National Allied Health Week

The first week of November is National Allied Health Week and CAHS is celebrating our dedicated alumni who are offering compassionate care and supporting their communities during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. We are proud of our Bearcat family and salute you during Allied Health Week, and every day!

Two women talk after the SWAD event

Share your stories of perseverance and innovation on social media using #UCtheGood. Update your contact information and share employment information, personal milestones, and professional achievements.

a table of women chat at the CAHS: Back in Class event

Help provide our students with vital personal and professional development opportunities, host a virtual Chats with ‘Cats, or serve on the planning committee for all-college ceu training, Back in Class!

students in front of HSB

For more information about how to support critical areas of need for CAHS students during this unprecedented time, email Toni Evans at , Development Coordinator, or call 513-556-6712.

Celebrating Allied Health Bearcats During Allied Health Week, and Every Day! 

Advanced Medical Imaging Technology

Siu Fung Chan poses outside with his family and dog

Siu Fung (Will) Chan, MD ’03, ’09
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Cincinnati

How did UC prepare you for success in your career?

My nuclear medicine career allowed me to consolidate my jobs and subsequently get into medical school. When I worked as a nuclear medicine technologist at Bethesda North, I enjoyed using a team approach to optimally take care of my patients, one at a time. Surprisingly, anesthesia bears many similarities to what I was used to—working in a collegial environment, being the patient’s advocate at their most vulnerable moment, and focusing on one patient at a time. I now work as an anesthesiologist one day weekly and an interventional pain physician the rest of the week. I still apply the concept of Alara in my interventional pain procedures. I am proud to say that compared to my peers, I use the least amount of radiation exposure for all my procedures to minimize radiation risk to my patients, staff, and self.

What encouragement can you offer to fellow AMIT professionals as we navigate this public health crisis?

Although COVID-19 is here to stay, each day is a day closer to better protection against the virus. In the meantime, be thankful that most of us still have our jobs while other industries are failing badly. Together, we can achieve success and move on from this crisis—for now we just have to focus on the patient and put them first, and all else will fall into place.

Health Information Management

Dana Markley

Dana Markley, MHA, RHIA ’13
Manager of Health Information Management at Coshocton Regional Medical Center
Adjunct Instructor, Zane State College 

How did UC prepare you for success in your career?

The education I received in both my Bachelor’s and Master’s programs at UC prepared me for real-life experiences in the workplace and made me eligible for positions that I didn't qualify for previously. Many times, I was able to use something currently going on at work to help me better understand assignments and how certain tools were used in the day-to-day healthcare operations.

What encouragement can you offer to fellow HIM professionals as we navigate this public health crisis?

Stay on top of current information on coding COVID-19 cases. This information changes weekly, and rules have changed. There are a ton of resources available with examples on how to properly code these situations. You want to make sure you do this correctly for proper payment.

Medical Laboratory Services

Stephanie Gerth headshot

Stephanie Gerth ’15
Medical Technologist II
University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Toxicology and Precision Medicine

How did UC prepare you for success in your career?

The Medical Laboratory Science program at UC is rigorous and comprehensive, challenging to even the best students. Classes go beyond teaching to work in a lab.  They educate their students so that they understand not only what they are doing but also the supporting science. And further, students leave with an understanding of the medical conditions they are testing.

The clinical training that students receive allows them to experience a cross-section of laboratory departments in a variety of hospital settings, from large medical centers to smaller regional hospitals. This allows students to have an idea of where they best fit in to be able to maximize their contributions to our field.

What encouragement can you offer to fellow medical laboratory scientists as we navigate this public health crisis?

The word “unprecedented” is used quite a lot these days to describe the current situation. While the demands on the laboratory to meet testing needs have been extreme, the ingenuity and dedication of technologists have proven equal to the challenge. The speed with which labs have supported robust testing in the midst of staggering volume is amazing. I am proud to be a part of this effort at UC Health. The lab tends to be in the background of care and is often unseen, although it is no less significant than other aspects of patient care. The COVID-19 crisis has brought the importance of the lab to the forefront of the team’s efforts. All lab techs should be proud of everything they are doing, whether their involvement is with COVID-19 testing or maintaining quality testing in other areas.

Respiratory Therapy

Wesley Bender headshot

Wesley Bender ’19, BSRT, RRT
Southern Ohio Medical Center, Registered Respiratory Therapist
Shawnee State University, Clinical Instructor

How did UC prepare you for success in your career?

UC allowed me to continue working full-time as a Respiratory Therapist while attending online classes for my Bachelor’s degree


What encouragement can you offer to fellow respiratory therapists as we navigate this public health crisis?

To keep doing what we do best — go forth and ventilate!


Angela Bruzina headshot

Angela Bruzina
Team Dietician, Minnesota United Football Club

As one of only a handful of full-time dieticians in Major League Soccer, Angela Bruzina occupies a highly specialized niche where elite performance and nutrition intersect. Her mission: to ensure that each member of the Minnesota United Football Club gets the most effective nutrition from the time of the first weigh-in each morning to the post-recovery period following the final weigh-in after practice. Read more.

Occupational Therapy

Chris Unkrich headshot

Chris Unkrich ’20
Recently registered and licensed occupational therapist
Currently pursuing employment

How did UC set you up for success?

The Occupational Therapy Program at UC provides a challenging curriculum with consistent and reliable support designed to prepare students to meet high expectations in a variety of settings. The hybrid design of online instruction and in-person coursework coupled with open labs, office hours, online discussion forums, guest speakers, partnerships, and opportunities to network and to collaborate with practicing occupational therapists throughout the program further improved the experience and supported the program’s mission. The support of the program prepared me to pass the NBCOT, become licensed, and pursue a rewarding career in occupational therapy.

What encouragement can you offer to fellow occupational therapists as we navigate this public health crisis?

I strongly encourage fellow occupational therapists to remain informed about the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and to stay up-to-date on the major policy changes. Remember that finding a work-life balance is also important throughout this pandemic. The American Occupational Therapy Association offers invaluable information through publications including “An Ethical Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” and virtual continuing education webinars. Additionally, shifting focus to providing interventions through technology-based options such as telehealth will prove to be an advantageous solution to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while providing a valuable service. Become part of the solution and become knowledgeable about the restrictions of Medicare in the utilization of telehealth so that you may effectively advocate for the occupational therapy profession. Together, we can overcome pandemic-related obstacles to make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve. 

Physical Therapy

Brian Barney headshot

Brian Barney, PT, DPT, CSCS
Physical Therapist, Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness

How did UC set you up for success in your career?

UC provided me with a great education, a foundation of knowledge that I built upon when I was in graduate school. I also had numerous leadership opportunities on campus that helped me develop better communication skills.


What encouragement can you offer to fellow PTs as we navigate this public health crisis?

This current moment is a great time to double down on educating patients on the benefits of movement and exercise. People who exercise consistently tend to have healthier immune systems and can use their favorite form of exercise to cope with all of the change and uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.

Social Work

Ahja Harris headshot

Ahja Harris, LISW-S ’12
Owner, Eagle Mindset Coaching and Counseling

How did UC set you up for success in your career?

I completed my Master’s at UC in 2012 and all the professors I interacted with inspired me to be an amazing social worker. I learned practical knowledge in the generalist program, which led me to focus on my passion of improving mental health. This year, I joined a holistic health practice in Middletown, Ohio, called Highview Holistic Health Center, fulfilling my dream of owning my own counseling office! Additionally, staying connected with the UC Alumni Association has allowed me to network with professors and fellow alumni. The connections I have are invaluable and help me appreciate how far the School of Social Work has come since its inception. 

What advice can you offer to fellow social workers?

I love the versatility of social work. It allowed me to get experience in mental health and work with the youngest to the oldest members of society. Mental health is a theme that carries throughout all areas of social work and provides the knowledge you need to be flexible among different industries and levels. The sky is the limit! Keep an open mind and open heart, and great things can happen!  

Health Administration

Lauree Handlon headshot

Lauree Handlon ’17, MHA, RHIA, CRCR, CCS, FAHIMA, FHFMA
Director, Data Quality & Reimbursement
Cleverley & Associates

How did UC prepare you for success in your career?

In pursuing the MHA program, I was not looking for a different career or even a different direction in my career, but to enhance my understanding in the healthcare administration field, as well as grow personally and professionally. The UC MHA program provided the flexibility for that growth while allowing me to continue focusing on my position and responsibilities. The curriculum improved my awareness on current events regarding the industry, refined my writing and presentation skills, and introduced me to a robust network of fellow alumni. Additionally, the diverse knowledge and skills demonstrated by faculty and students enriched the total experience.

What encouragement can you offer to fellow healthcare professionals as we navigate this public health crisis?

I encourage myself to continue inspiring others to the best of my ability, no matter how I am feeling. I hope others do their best to keep inspiring too! Do not give up on yourself during this challenging time. Stay connected to others. If an opportunity becomes available to do something, give it your all. Don’t ignore opportunities, or sit back and wait. We are built to handle difficult situations and just need to find the strength to keep moving forward. You will become a magnet for others to absorb that strength to do the same.


Mike Hill headshot

Mike Hill, AuD ’82
Owner, “The Hill Hear Better Clinics”

How did UC set you up for success in your career?

I sincerely believe that my academic and personal experiences through UC totally changed my life. When I started at UC, only a Master’s degree was required. There were only five of us in the program and I believe all of our fees were covered. This was true when I worked on my PhD as well. The knowledge, enthusiasm and encouragement I received from everyone in the department taught me how to learn and grow as a person and an audiologist in a profession that I dearly love — improving the quality of life for the hearing impaired in our community. I am blessed that my son followed me in this career, also earning his AuD from UC. These are the reasons I give back to UC, through clinical training for doctoral audiology students and financial gifts.

What encouragement can you offer to fellow audiologists as we navigate this public health crisis?

My business attempted to view this horrific crisis as a respite. Although all employees were given furloughs, I worked daily doing repairs and keeping patients’ hearing aids operational while educating patients via YouTube and telehealth visits. This was also a great time to work on re-opening and marketing strategies. My advice is to hang in there, keep improving yourself, and know your services to others and order will return in time.

Speech Language Pathology

Sue Schmidlin headshot

Sue L. Schmidlin, M.A., CCC-SLP
Assistant Professor Emeritus

How did UC set you up for success?

I began my UC journey in 2005 in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as a non-traditional student, after having worked as a public school SLP for several years. Due to a change in the law at that time, I needed to earn an advanced degree in order to keep working as an SLP. I was nervous about embarking on a two-year graduate program at my age, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed expanding my knowledge. All of the faculty were so encouraging and relatable, and my fellow grad students accepted me as one of their own. After earning my MA, I returned to my previous job armed with new knowledge and skills, but I missed the energy of UC. A faculty member asked me to supervise a graduate student for her practicum placement at my school, creating immense satisfaction in helping this student improve her skills. By the end of that school year, I joined the faculty at UC as a clinical supervisor. I enjoyed 11 years in the department due to the excellent faculty, hardworking students, and the welcoming atmosphere that UC embodies.

What encouragement can you offer to fellow SLPs as we navigate this public health crisis?

I would encourage fellow SLPs to do the best we can during this public health crisis, knowing that we can’t possibly perform in the same way that we did before the crisis. In a way, the virus has pushed us to be more creative, more compassionate, and more grateful for the work that we are able to do. It has helped us to respond to change, which can be so difficult. For instance, I have been relieved to hear from some of my colleagues who are making virtual platforms work so well for therapy. For SLPs in the medical setting, I would encourage them to look for ways to find relief from the stress, such as practicing mindfulness, taking walks, exercising, or talking about the stress to a loved one. Your work is so important to your patients and their families.